Gov. John Kitzhaber stops executions in Oregon, calls system ‘compromised and inequitable’
SALEM — Gov. John Kitzhaber announced today he will not allow the execution of Gary Haugen — or any death row inmate — to take place while he is in office.
The death penalty is morally wrong and unjustly administered, Kitzhaber said.
“In my mind it is a perversion of justice,” he said at an emotional news conference in Salem.
The governor cited his constitutional authority to grant a temporary reprieve for Haugen, in effect canceling the planned Dec. 6 lethal injection of the twice-convicted murderer. Haugen waived his legal appeals and has been preparing for the execution, which would have been Oregon’s first in 14 years.
Full story here.
Simon Mann, Washington
February 12, 2011
Last year, 46 people were executed in America, less than half the number in 1999, the peak year since the US Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.
”The death penalty is putting millions [of dollars] into getting one execution per state per year, if that,” says Richard Dieter, of the Death Penalty Information Centre. ”It’s just totally symbolic, totally political and that’s an expensive thing to keep operating just because it plays well in sound bites.”
Full story here.
The Federal Government says it will make “high level representations” as it tries to save a former Australian soldier from being executed for murder in Afghanistan.
Thirty-eight-year-old South Australian Robert William Langdon has been sentenced to die for shooting an Afghan colleague dead and then trying to blame the killing on a Taliban ambush.
At the time Langdon was working as a security contractor for US-based firm Four Horsemen International.
Langdon was originally found guilty in October last year and the verdict was upheld by the Afghan Appeals Court last week.
“The Australian Government will make high level representations to Afghan authorities to oppose the imposition of the death penalty, and vigorously support any clemency bids in this case,” a DFAT spokeswoman said this morning.
“We have been consulting closely with Mr Langdon’s lawyers and his employer about appropriate representations in this case.
“This is consistent with the Australian Government’s strong opposition to the use of the death penalty.
23 June 2009
Togo today decided to abolish the death penalty following a unanimous vote by the national assembly.
Togo has thereby become the 15th member of the African Union and the 94th country in the world to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.
“This country has chosen to establish a healthy justice system that limits judicial errors…and guarantees the inherent rights of the individual,” said Justice Minister Kokou Tozoun when the cabinet first adopted the abolition bill on 10 December 2008. “This (new) system is no longer compatible with a penal code that maintains the death penalty and grants the judiciary absolute power with irrevocable consequences.”
Togo stopped applying the death penalty more than three decades ago. The last executions of people sentenced to death date back to 1978 and the last death sentence was handed down in 2003.
Through today’s vote, Togolese members of parliament have reinforced the trend towards abolishing the death penalty in Africa.
Burundi adopted a new penal code in April 2009 which abolished the death penalty from the legislation. Several other countries, notably Mali, are reviewing their legislation and considering the possibility of removing any recourse to the death penalty.
Original story here.
The Multi-Faith Centre at Griffith University, in cooperation with various faith, interfaith, and community organisations, will host the following event:
The Death Penalty: An Interfaith Forum
Prof. Sarva-Daman Singh (Hinduism)- Honorary Consul of India in Brisbane
Dr. Anne Nguyen (Buddhism) – Senior Lecturer, Computer Science & Technology, Griffith University
Peter Arndt (Christianity) – Executive Director Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Brisbane
Imam Dr. Tariq Syed (Islam) – Council of Fatwa, Australian National Imams Council
Wednesday, 29 April
Time: 7.15 – 9.30 pm
Where: Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University
For further information, email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
RSVP by April 25 to: 3735-7052 or email@example.com
April 10, 2009 04:48pm
* Family prayer vigil for Scott Rush
* 100 people at special Easter service
* Waiting outcome of appeal
THE family of convicted drug mule and Bali Nine member Scott Rush have continued hope he will be spared the death penalty.
About 100 people crowded into Brisbane’s Christ the King Church today, where Rush used to attend, for a prayer vigil, aimed at renewing debate about the death penalty.
This year alone the United States has executed 11 people, with many more scheduled in the next few months.
Please take the time to make your voices heard on these two upcoming cases in the US -
Jeffrey Hill in Ohio:
And Edward Bell in Virginia:
And you can view the complete list of scheduled executions in the U.S. here:
From the ABC…
Dead man pardoned over 1921 Gun Alley murder
A Victorian man executed for murder 86 years ago, is to receive a pardon.
Twelve year old Alma Tirtschke was raped and murdered in 1921 and her body was left near Melbourne’s Gun Alley.
Colin Campbell Ross was convicted and hanged in 1922 but he always maintained his innocence.
A re-examination of the case has found hairs on a blanket at his home, did not belong to the girl.
Australians Against Capital Punishment believe that there are no circumstances where a state should, in cold blood, execute anyone in the name of justice.
But beyond the moral issue, the case of Colin Ross Campbell again tragically highlights the fact that no legal system is perfect, and no imperfect system should be allowed to take a person’s life, no matter how awful the crime.
Capital punishment worked against the interests of justice twice over in this case. As hard as it is to overturn the wrongful conviction of a living prisoner, it’s unimaginably harder to clear the name of one who has been wrongfully killed by the state.
This case took the better part of a century.
The death penalty guaranteed that the true perpetrator remained at large, while an innocent man was killed.
Colin Ross was less than 30 when he was executed – the Death Penalty stole up to 50 years from him.
We congratulate the Victorian Government on this decision, and wholeheartedly concur with the Attorney General Rob Hulls, that this should serve as another reminder of why the Death Penalty has no place in any justice system.